Monday, July 14, 2014

Benefits Options for Adjuncts

Inside Higher Ed
July 14th, 2014

Many adjuncts not only work for low pay, but do so without employer-provided health insurance. So the American Federations of Teachers’ announcement on Friday that it was partnering with the Freelancers Union to offer adjuncts – even those who aren’t part of AFT – access to benefits came as good news to many. The AFT is not paying for benefits, but rather is offering adjuncts access to various plans that might be difficult or more expensive to obtain individually.
Earlier this year, the Freelancers Union announced the launch of a National Benefits Platform, through which independent workers can search by ZIP code a “suite” of various benefits. Offerings include health and dental insurance and retirement and term life insurance. The new AFT partnership will offer adjuncts a special web portal to access these and other programs and services offered by both unions, starting this fall.
The Freelancers’ membership already includes about 3,000 educators, most of whom are adjuncts. The union offers legal representation and other services to its members -- about 250,000 nationwide. About 10 percent currently purchase their insurance directly from the union, in New York State only. This fall, Freelancers will start offering members ways to purchase insurance in 49 other states through various third-party providers.

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